2020 Luminaria Artist Foundation Grant Recipients

In January 2020, we initiated the Luminaria Artist Foundation to continue the legacy of the Artist Foundation of San Antonio in supporting regional artists. During our inaugural grant cycle, we received applications from many of the top talents in Bexar County, and we were able to award three $10,000 grants – one in visual arts, one in performing arts, and one in literary arts – and three $5,000 grants.

Mark McCoin
Rick Liberto Visual Arts Grantee

Mark McCoin is a sound and interdisciplinary artist working in the areas of 4D performance and site-specific installation with integrated technologies. Recent works include the evening length performance, The Feral Piano, at the ATLAS Interdisciplinary Theater in Boulder, Colorado; Uprising, an interactive sculpture installation at the Silos on Sawyer for Sculpture Month Houston; and the prize-winning Piano Car performance for the Houston Art Car Parade. McCoin has composed and produced numerous scores for dance, theater, film, radio, and tv, and he has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Merce Cunningham Studio, and at several Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festivals.

Pamela Martinez
Performing Arts Grantee

Pamela Martinez is a composer, reiki master, educator, multi-instrumentalist, and musician who creates deep listening, sound baths and sonic expressions under the moniker Teletextile. Martinez brings to life music-centered rituals that explore our connections with our inner voices and to each other. Her “Bjork-like” sound (The Boston Globe) moves from vocal layering and “electronic wizardry” (Metronome Magazine) to “dense, stormy guitar, piano, and electronics” (Time Out New York). A San Antonio native who spent 11 years performing and creating in Brooklyn, New York, Martinez began calling the River City home again in 2018. She creates new work with the Teletextile Ritual Arts Ensemble and passes on the craft of music and wellbeing by teaching and leading workshops.

Octavio Quintanilla
Literary Arts Grantee

Octavio Quintanilla is the author of the poetry collection, If I Go Missing (Slough Press, 2014) and of several chapbooks, including Tiempo Perdido / Wasted Time (Alabrava Press, 2019). He also served as the 2018–2020 Poet Laureate of San Antonio, Texas. His poetry, fiction, translations, and photography have appeared in numerous journals, and his visual poems have been exhibited in several galleries, including Presa House Gallery, Equinox Gallery, and the Southwest School of Art. Quintanilla is the regional editor for Texas Books in Review and poetry editor for The Journal of Latina Critical Feminism and for Voices de la Luna: A Quarterly Literature & Arts Magazine. Octavio teaches Literature and Creative Writing in the MA/MFA program at Our Lady of the Lake University.

Jenelle Esparza
Open Category Grantee

Jenelle Esparza is an interdisciplinary artist born in the coastal city of Corpus Christi, Texas, whose work examines the history of cotton and labor in South Texas, a history that runs several generations deep in her family. Through photography, sculpture, and textiles, Esparza incorporates concepts of body movement, history, gender, identity, culture, and race to explore the intersections of Mexican and American culture and the implications of generational trauma. She has exhibited nationally at such institutions as the DePaul Art Museum in Chicago, Illinois; The Momentary in Bentonville, Arkansas; and Artpace in San Antonio.

Raul Rene Gonzalez
Open Category Grantee

Raul Rene Gonzalez was born and raised in inner-city Houston and now balances his life as a multi-dimensional visual artist and stay-at-home parent. In his work, Gonzalez utilizes a wide array of mediums through versatile methods of painting, drawing, performance, and dance to explore such topics as work, fatherhood, gender roles, race, labor, identity, and abstraction. Gonzalez has exhibited his artwork nationally and regionally with pieces residing in permanent collections at the National Mexican Museum of Art, National Hispanic Cultural Center Art Museum, Mexic-Arte Museum, and the City of San Antonio.

Violeta de Leon Davila

Violeta De Leon Davila 
Open Category Grantee

Violeta De León Davila is a passionate instructor and choreographer of modern dance, rooted primarily in the Graham technique with strong influences of Ballet, Humphrey, Limon, and Release. She has performed and choreographed for Festival de Extremadura Danza Contemporánea and Encuentro Metropolitano de Danza Contemporánea along with many other original modern, jazz, lyrical, and musical theatre pieces. Davila won the 2004 Contemporary Dance Choreography Contest of Northern Mexico and is the founder of the professional independent group, Pies Descalzos (“Bare Feet”).

2020 Luminaria Artist Foundation Grants Judges

Sussy Santana
Dale Neal
Michelle Whittaker
Kate Bonansinga
Gregory Sale
Constanza Casamadrid
Michael Fox

Maya Taylor
Richard Perez
Edna Longoria
Yvette Benavides
Patricia Pratchett
Ray Santisteban

2020 Luminaria Artist Foundation Grants Sponsors

The Department of Arts & Culture of the City of San Antonio, Rick Liberto, the Lifshutz Foundation, Patricia Pratchett, Alan Beckstead, the Anne & Chuck Parrish Charitable Fund, and numerous individual donors.

For more information about the grant program, please visit the Luminaria Artist Foundation.